Lisa McCormick, a leading progressive in New Jersey, has called for lawmakers to revise the state’s recall law, which she claims has “impossible provisions.”
McCormick says that the current law makes it difficult for citizens to hold elected officials accountable.
According to the City Clerk of Jersey City, Sean Gallagher, 42,523 valid signatures would be needed to force a recall election for Councilwoman-at-Large Amy DeGise.
“This is an extremely high number of signatures to collect in a very tight period of time,” said McCormick. “Petitioners have only 160 days to collect the signatures once their effort receives approval for circulation from the City Clerk. This means that citizens would need to collect an average of about 300 signatures every day.”
McCormick’s call for revision of the recall law comes in the wake of DeGise’s hit-and-run accident on July 19, 2022, at the intersection of Martin Luther King Drive and Forrest Street.
The councilwoman-at-large was driving her Nissan Rogue SUV when she hit bicyclist Andrew Black, an UberEats deliveryman. DeGise sped off without stopping, leaving the victim injured on the ground.
She did not report the incident until six hours later.
DeGise eventually pleaded guilty to charges of leaving the scene of the crash and was sentenced to a $5,000 fine and a one-year license suspension. However, she has shown no remorse for her actions and has refused to resign from her position.
Numerous revelations have since emerged that suggest DeGise is a person of poor character, including her unpaid $2,865 veterinarian bill, living with her long-time boyfriend on combined salaries of nearly $300,000 at an apartment intended for moderate-income residents, and her attempt to use her elected office to prevent her unregistered and illegally parked vehicle from being towed in Hoboken.
McCormick believes that the current recall law, which requires a petition signed by at least 25% of the registered voters in a jurisdiction, is impractical and discourages citizens from taking action against politicians who are not accountable to their constituents.
McCormick argues that most recall efforts fizzle out once citizens realize that the process is designed to waste their time and energy.
McCormick is a well-known progressive in New Jersey who gained national attention for her 2018 Democratic primary challenge to Senator Bob Menendez.
She is now calling on lawmakers to revise the recall law to empower citizens and ensure that elected officials may be held accountable for their actions through a practical application of reasonable effort.